The public consultation for the chief executive’s annual policy address has barely begun, but Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor has already indicated that her blueprint would probably be received as one that is full of lofty goals but without substance. It is odd that she seems to have resigned herself to such criticism. Given that a second term for the chief executive cannot be ruled out, it would not be surprising if she proposes policies that can pave the way for her re-election. Her priorities, though, in the remaining months of her current term, should be on controlling the Covid-19 pandemic and delivering more concrete results in housing and other long-standing problems. Lam has boasted of her achievements over the past four years, saying only a few of her 900-odd initiatives had yet to materialise . Whether the public agrees, though, is another matter. While some pledges are straightforward and can be implemented with administrative or legislative measures, others involve deep-seated conflicts and require fundamental policy revamps. That is why the progress on various issues afflicting our society remains disappointing. Is Carrie Lam eyeing another term after talk of ‘visionary’ policy address? Lam is no stranger when it comes to making a policy address. When the former government No 2 took the helm in 2017, she vowed to heal the gaping political divide and connect all walks of life, with a particular emphasis on the city’s youth . Today, those pledges look somewhat irrelevant as the city is undergoing sweeping political changes following the 2019 social unrest sparked by her unpopular and now-withdrawn extradition bill. Many are indeed wondering what is to become of Hong Kong as Beijing tightens its grip on the city’s affairs. Lam, 64, has not said if she will seek a second term. But regardless of her intention, the pressure on her to tackle the pandemic and deliver concrete results in other policy areas will only grow as her current term ends on June 30, 2022. As officials talk up the return of stability following the enactment last year of the national security law, there is a need for the city to reinvent itself under the new constitutional and political order. The city’s future lies in its ability to tackle a series of long-standing problems and to rebuild itself from the fallout of the political and health crises.